Critics of the part that public administration must play, have given administrators something to think about. Outraged critics often protest that the democratic system is being undermined. These attackers appear to carry weight in proportion to the lack of fundamental agreement over the objectives of government.

Many of the men and women who have distinguished themselves as public servants, have shown little disposition to look towards politics as a millstone round the neck of governmental management. On the contrary they understand that, in a broader sense, efficient administration and democratic administration are one and the same.  American society has operated with comparatively high degree of consent and low degree of compulsion. These characteristics may well offer the public administrator more opportunity for enterprising service than any political utopia devised by critics. But such service must flow from accountable conduct.

It is hard to imagine how a government can be democratic, unlessits legislature is elected periodically by a free vote; unless the members of the legislature and the legislative proceedings are free of executive coercion and corruption; and unless public officials administer their offices according to the statutes and spend money according to the legislative appropriations – all in an environment of free thought and free speech.

In the absence of consistent disagreement on policy, media reporters specializing in public disagreement find procedural issues as the best material available. The administrative official himself is hardly likely to be impressed by these issues. He is realistic enough to understand also that in great many matters of administration or even policy he must make decisions himself and that in lesser matters his subordinates also must be similarly independent of him. Without delegation of this kind, no governmental organization can operate. Indeed, only a systematic practice of directing the lower official to take responsibility for details can enable a high official to control him.

Administration is quite unlike the writing of poetry or other forms of personal inspiration. An administrator is one who never writes what he signs or signs what he writes. This is inevitable because the creation of policy is collective process – one of gathering ideas and facts and combining them into a programme. If a legislature, uncovered and unintimidated, agrees after open discussion with the proposals of the chief executive, is it not a sign of effective democracy rather than of shameful submission? It is pure romance to consider disapproval of a subordinate’s recommendation a sign of independence. The Supervisor - whether legislative or executive – gets his policies carried out by inducing his subordinates to develop and execute his general programme. To do so, he must reach an understanding with them about his goals, so that he rarely needs to reject a specific proposal and start allover again.

A large legislative body will always find it difficult or impossible, even through committees, to keep in touch with all the advance planning of administrative agencies and to control the detailed application of policy. The legislator is tempted by short – run interest and pressure from his constituents to make up for this limitation by political interference with matters that for best performance ought to be delegated – the selection of individual officials, the location offield offices, the letting or cancellation of contracts, the modification of administrative orders. This temptation is apt to defeat the whole purpose of legislative supervision-, which is to definethe major lines of policy for the executive branch to follow.

It is important to understand relationship of democracy and legislative supremacy. It is easy to see how a legislature may keep administration generally responsive to its control by only the broadest kind of supervision. The British Parliament delegates far more rule – making power to the executive branch than would be constitutionally possible in the United States. Such delegation covers the whole subject of government organization. Moreover, while the House of commons discusses the main policies proposed by the Prime Minister, it rarely alters them. In effect, individual members acting for themselves cannot get amendments to any important legislation considered by the House.

The primary fact is that British administration became democratic asthelegislature restricted itself to a very general kind of supervision.

The most delightful aspect of the matter is that Americans are apt tocall the parliamentary system undemocratic whenever they learn how much power it places in the Prime Minister, while British municipal officials consider the city – manager plan and the strong – mayor plan quite dictatorial and un-British, whatever administrative merits these plans may possess.

The real issue of representation and responsibility is not simply between the chief executive and the legislature, but between the two, on the one hand, and each and all of the departments, bureaus, and legislative committees that seek to go their own ways, on the other. The great advances in attaining administrative responsibility to the legislative branch which have been achieved in the United States have been made possible by strengthening thechief executive, who alone can present to the legislature a coherent programme,over and through which broad and democratic control can be exercised. In exercising such control, the legislature needs staff assistance in the review and interpretation of facts, the apprising of programmes, the drafting of bills, and other technical work. The public has to be viewed as star customer. All branches of the government need to know, what the people want.

Democratic administration means cooperative government and public participation. There should be effective awareness of facts and fiction about government, as well as objectives of government, andways and means to achieve these objectives. When we judge the political character of public administration, and before we decide that it is either oppressive or paternalistic, we should remind ourselves that nearly every main function of government is administered by cooperation among levels of government or between public and semi-public or private organizations. In fact cooperation is key to success in domestic relations as well as foreign affairs. In this cooperative – participative system the traditional values of liberty have be saved and promoted to attain higher degree harmony and stability.

Let us ponder on arrangements under which public officials with a national point of view have to deal on a basis of mutual respect with those representing a local point of view as well as the national aspirations of the people. Let us revisit thousands of pages of reports of committees and commissions of inquiry appointed by the government of Pakistan. The influence of painstaking research and thoughtful recommendations has to be evaluated to see if such exercises had made any significant difference in performance of the state institutions and impacted day-to-day administrative relationship and over all political environment and perceptions. Decentralization, delegation of authority and structural -functional analysis are exercise that help improve government administration as a base for good governance and transparency, sovital, for democratic government.

The writer is a former director, National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) a political analyst, public policy expert and an author. His book post 9/11 Pakistan has been published in the United States.